Friday, January 27, 2006
Talking with a friend about spies. More particularly, she was reading Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana" and we were musing on the English spy novel. Came to the conclusion that in the modern sense it probably began with Conrad's "The Secret Agent", but came of its own more during the 20th century. I mentioned the Dreyfus letter as a good real-life example of a "spy" like story - but thinking back they've been around for as long as their was literature. Dante, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Chaucer, all might have had "spy" on their c.v. Conrad aside, it took a while for the spy novel to have any sort of literary status - more the Dennis Wheatley's of the world than more erudite writers. It's a boys own literature of course, and Greene must have had something to do with it getting its literary chops. Film, of course, as well. The "Cold War" was spying's golden age of course, and from Fleming to Le Carre, spy novels have often been made into spy films.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 3:42 PM